The Aftermath of the Devastating Woolsey Fire

The Aftermath of the Devastating Woolsey Fire

I started in Santa Monica and worked my way to Leo Carillo State Beach. From there I drove up Mulholland Highway to photograph the devastation left behind by the Woolsey Fire.

At the first vista turnout, it became clear that this fire completely denuded the land and that any living thing would be lucky to survive the intense firestorm. The wineries at the top of the mountain were destroyed and the grapevines appeared to be wiped out. The wind was still blowing very hard, pushing ash and fire dust around. Several cars appeared to be abandoned along the highway, burned to almost unrecognizable shapes.

I drove down the historic patch of Mulholland Highway, the Snake, to see if it had escaped damage. Every tree and bush was gone — only the rocky land appeared, giving the Snake an eerie, apocalyptic Mad Max feeling. The Rock Store was saved and was handing out water and coffee to first responders and area residents.

At the bottom of the Snake is the Seminole Springs Mobile Home Park. The fire worked its way through a third of it before halting its destruction. I met a man who lived there and lost everything he owned. He took it all in stride and told me how insurance probably would not cover the destruction. He was still thankful to survive along with his dog. As we spoke, another resident walked by us and yelled to me that he could have stopped the flames from burning his home. The man I was speaking with knew how he felt but said to me that nothing could have stopped this fire. He said goodbye to me and left the park in search of a place to stay, but he had no idea where to look.

Photos by Ted Soqui


I started in Santa Monica and worked my way to Leo Carillo State Beach. From there I drove up Mulholland Highway to photograph the devastation left behind by the Woolsey Fire.

At the first vista turnout, it became clear that this fire completely denuded the land and that any living thing would be lucky to survive the intense firestorm. The wineries at the top of the mountain were destroyed and the grapevines appeared to be wiped out. The wind was still blowing very hard, pushing ash and fire dust around. Several cars appeared to be abandoned along the highway, burned to almost unrecognizable shapes.

I drove down the historic patch of Mulholland Highway, the Snake, to see if it had escaped damage. Every tree and bush was gone — only the rocky land appeared, giving the Snake an eerie, apocalyptic Mad Max feeling. The Rock Store was saved and was handing out water and coffee to first responders and area residents.

At the bottom of the Snake is the Seminole Springs Mobile Home Park. The fire worked its way through a third of it before halting its destruction. I met a man who lived there and lost everything he owned. He took it all in stride and told me how insurance probably would not cover the destruction. He was still thankful to survive along with his dog. As we spoke, another resident walked by us and yelled to me that he could have stopped the flames from burning his home. The man I was speaking with knew how he felt but said to me that nothing could have stopped this fire. He said goodbye to me and left the park in search of a place to stay, but he had no idea where to look.

Photos by Ted Soqui
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